At Talladega, AJ Allmendinger made his first appearance at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race since reinstatement by NASCAR following his completion of its "Road to Recovery" program, which was required following his suspension in July after failing a drug test. The former Penske Racing driver, who also was on hand for the IndyCar season finale at Fontana, says he is exploring multiple options for resuming his career.
Allmendinger confirmed he had spoken to Phoenix Racing owner James Finch, who is losing his current driver Kurt Busch to Furniture Row Racing for the final six races
"If something there happens, fantastic,'' Allmendinger told USA Today. "If not, then it wasn't meant to be and I'll keep working hard.''
Allmendinger told NASCAR.com that while returning to Sprint Cup competition was his first priority, he was also open to opportunities in IndyCar and sports car racing.
"I'm open to all options, but my first option is to be back here [Sprint Cup] in something competitive," he said. "I know that's not going to be easy to do, to get the respect and trust back, but all I can do is go out there and work hard to do that."